Can we all agree that life is no walk in the park, but rather a dreadfully rocky road?
Sure, adversity is exactly what makes our days on Earth so exciting, but it takes a pretty positive mindset to be able to think that way.
But as you'll discover in this blog post, sometimes it's actually negativity -- cynical, matter-of-fact negativity -- that can push you into that positive way of thinking.
Sometimes the darkest quotes are actually the brightest, most inspirational bits of advice you can find -- a good old-fashioned wake-up call when it comes to learning life's lessons.
In this blog post, we'll take you through six of the best and most eye-opening ones, courtesy of the charmingly dark anime Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan from the Summer 2021 season.
So sit back, relax, and let the darkness brighten your day.
Because as Uramichi Oniisan himself says, adulting is hard. Really hard!
Note: Spoilers up to Episode 8 of the anime lie ahead.
What is Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan about?
Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan, starring titular character Uramichi Omota, is about the everyday lives of the hosts of Together With Maman, a children's TV show in the vein of Blue's Clues and Sesame Street. There's the singing instructors Iketeru-oniisan and Utano-oneesan, as well as fitness instructor Uramichi-oniisan himself.
Each episode is filled with fun and games, concerts, germ-fighting shenanigans, the occasional existential crisis, and (of course) plenty of dark humor to boot. The comedy can be fairly hit or miss at times, but if you find yourself struggling with the reality of day-to-day adult life (like Uramichi), you'll no doubt find something to chuckle about.
What sort of life lessons and famous quotes does the anime shower us with?
Let's take a look.
Life Lesson #1: Work to live, don't live to work.
"Ugh... Morning has come again.”
The first thing that Uramichi does when waking up: moan about the arrival of another tedious day (on this earth, to be precise).
It's definitely something any working adult can relate to at some point, especially new graduates and 40-somethings. After all, the former are just discovering what a 9-to-5 is like, and the latter -- well, they don't call it a midlife crisis for nothing.
Obviously, this quote can ring especially true on a Monday if you're working a weekday job. Your fun in the weekend sun is over and you’re back to the daily grind -- when all you really want to do is take things easy and relax.
You'll definitely want to find a job that you're interested in -- or better yet, passionate about -- so that you'll have a spring in your step from the moment you get out of bed. You'll most likely be working professionally for several decades, after all!
Life Lesson #2: Let it be.
“There are games you’re not allowed to quit even when you give up... Like life.”
It's an all-too-familiar tale: People who dreamed of being world-renowned astronauts or rock stars in their youth, only to find themselves stuck in a modest office job when professional life came calling.
You may have been a wide-eyed wonderer in your youth, but the harshness of reality has hit you hard in your adulthood, and now you're more cynical than sincere.
What makes it even worse is when you take a look around and see how things have gone so well for so many others!
When Uramichi said this line, he knew what he was talking about. He was one of those guys who had a bright future—a gifted gymnast, studying in an elite school, vying for the top—so something major obviously happened in his past that left him jaded and lost.
Life would be so much easier if there was a reset button, right? You could fix your mistakes, make the right choices, chase different dreams, and start anew.
But that's precisely the crux of the matter, and the beautiful hard-hitting nature of this quote:
Some things you simply can't change.
You can't change the past. You can't change the sort of life that you or those around you have lived.
So why get hung up about it at all?
Better to let it be and focus your attention on things you actually have control over in life, right?
Life Lesson #3: To each their own.
“Just because a single guy guzzles down cheap sake while watching late-night boring dramas every night, you shouldn’t assume that he’s unhappy."
Uramichi says this when one of the children realizes the hapless instructor is even older than her father.
Kids, in their innocence, may very well think that the sign of a happy adult is when they have a family of their own, but obviously that doesn't always have to be the case.
Life isn't a contest to see who can reach the finish line (or a certain goal) first; you're perfectly free to go at your own pace.
You know what they say: One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Some people are perfectly content with being single their whole life.
Others couldn't be more delighted to start a family in their very early twenties (especially when it was so common to do so a few decades ago!).
At the end of the day, you shouldn't really gauge your own happiness on what others dictate.
Only one person can ever know when you're truly happy, and that's you!
Life Lesson #4: Know when to treat yourself.
“Who’s feeling weary and having a hard day, so you don’t wanna do anything?”
After hyping up the kids gathered around him with questions like "Who's full of energy today again?!" and "Who's feeling just fine today?!", Uramichi hopelessly lets out his innermost feelings with this dark, dreary quote. (He even gives a zombielike "Me..." response to his own question.)
If you've ever worked in retail, childcare, or any other industry that requires bundles of positive energy day in and day out, you'll be able to relate. These sorts of roles are both physically and mentally draining, so props to those who are able to work past the pain like a pro!
Still, what if you aren't able to? What if you just don't have the energy one day?
We're only human -- and humans have more than one type of emotion.
No matter how dedicated you are to your duties, there will invariably be days where you're just not in the mood. You just have to throw in the towel.
Especially on those days, it's important to treat yourself.
That obviously doesn't mean walking out during a shift. It means being kind enough to yourself to compromise a little if it's for the sake of your wellbeing.
Go grab that ice cream you've been holding back on. Clock off on the dot without doing your usual overtime. Buy that handbag you were saving up for your birthday six months away.
Rather than lie to yourself and say everything will be fine, balance out the negativity with some self-love. With any luck, you'll be back to your natural fighting self tomorrow with renewed vigor!
Life Lesson #5: Bend, but don't break.
“Any adult would be two-faced or even three-faced.”
Having likes and dislikes is part of what makes us human.
Some people love being around jokers to lighten the mood. Others can't stand it, and would do anything to have a serious, sensible conversation once in a while.
When it comes to human relationships and society, you don't have to unconditionally like every single person that comes your way.
Still, being an adult certainly entails -- at the very least -- putting aside those personal differences when a greater good is at stake, especially in the workplace.
That means carrying yourself professionally and maturely around that insufferable colleague you're cooperating with on that big project, even if you would never be caught dead in the same room as them in your personal life.
Take Uramichi as a perfect example. While on duty at Together With Maman, he is all smiley and approachable -- but his snarky, jaded, depressed self returns to the forefront once he leaves the studio and the fun-loving kids behind at the end of the day.
There's a time, place, and occasion for everything.
Personal grudges and public or professional environments shouldn't go hand in hand.
We're not saying you have to torture yourself and totally be someone you're not when interacting with others -- just that it's important to project the side of yourself that will get you and them over the finish line where it counts the most.
Life Lesson #6: Mind over matter.
“It's precisely because nothing good happens [that] I need to at least smile."
Have you ever dreamed about rollerblading down a flight of stairs? Or imagined that you were biting onto a freezing cold popsicle with your front teeth?
Try the latter now -- you'll most likely feel a twitch or shiver course through your body.
It's amazing just how powerful the mind is, and how much it can influence your sensations. With a strong enough stimulus -- or enough conviction -- you could very well "trick" yourself into feeling a certain way, if only temporarily. (Actors crying on command by imagining feelings of loss, for example.)
That phenomenon can work wonders when you're feeling blue. The stimulus, of course, is a good old-fashioned smile.
In fact, even science notes how effective smiling can be in making you feel happy: it releases so-called "feel-good neurotransmitters" like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin that can help relieve stress, sadness, and other negative emotions, turning that pain into pleasure.
No wonder they say laughter is the best medicine, right?
Basically, we're only as upset as we believe ourselves to be.
Change to a more positive mindset and turning that frown upside down can be just the ticket you need to cure that bad day you've been having.
There's a proverb in Japanese that sums it up well:
Shintou wo mekkyaku sureba hi mo mata suzushi.
"Clear your mind [e.g. of mundane thoughts] and even the hottest fire will feel cold."
Here's a look back at the advice and lessons on life we explored in this post -- as well as the dark quotes that provided them.
- Work to live, don't live to work.
As conveyed by this dark quote: "Ugh... Morning has come again.”
- Let it be.
As conveyed by this dark quote: "There are games you’re not allowed to quit even when you give up... Like life.”
- To each their own.
As conveyed by this dark quote: "Just because a single guy guzzles down cheap sake while watching late-night boring dramas every night, you shouldn’t assume that he’s unhappy.”
- Know when to treat yourself.
As conveyed by this dark quote: “Who’s feeling weary and having a hard day, so you don’t wanna do anything?”
- Bend, but don't break.
As conveyed by this dark quote: “Any adult would be two-faced or even three-faced.”
- Mind over matter.
As conveyed by this dark quote: “It's precisely because nothing good happens [that] I need to at least smile."
If you're less interested in sugarcoating the harsh reality of life and more focused on how to come out unscathed (and on top!), these lessons and quotes are just what the doctor (or fitness instructor) ordered!
Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to being an adult. Its comically cynical approach and juxtaposition of innocent kids with jaded adults is definitely a fresh change from the many fantastical isekai franchises that so often grace our screens these days.
If you enjoy dark humor or just want a frank wake-up call on life, you'll really want to give Uramichi Oniisan a try!
If you're already an Uramichi advocate and are looking to satisfy your fix now that the season has ended, check out our Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan merch collection from the button below. You'll find a host of fun anime collectibles featuring Uramichi and the rest of the Together With Maman cast, direct from Japan.
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Thanks for reading!